Motherhood: expectations vs reality

Before I had Aria I had an idea of what I was going to be like as a mum. I was gonna be one of those DIY mums that did loads of fun sensory activities, made the most of maternity leave and went to LOADS of toddler groups. Well, the reality couldn’t be further from my expectations! I’m not a DIY at all! The only thing I stuck to was making my own meals for her when we were first weaning, so I guess that’s a bit of a win, right?

Since I went back to work in December, I have found it increasingly hard to plan ‘fun things’ for us to do. My days off in the week feel like the should be MY days off and sometimes I just want to veg in front of the tele or stare at my phone for hours. But anyone with a toddler knows that you can’t sit down for 5 minutes. Aria is at that age where she just pulls EVERYTHING out, and I’m at that point now where I’ve given up trying to get her to stop. I’d rather have a house full of chaos that gets tidied at the end of the day, rather than tidy up throughout the day, only for it to get messy again!

I often feel mum guilt on my days off too. Am I doing enough with her? Am I stimulating her enough? Why won’t she learn anymore words even when I try and teach her to say them? Nearly 18 months in and I’m STILL not comfortable with this motherhood business. Always second guessing myself, but now too scared (or too fed up) to ask on the parents Facebook groups I’m part of. Why is every mum so judgemental these days (okay not all of them are but I’ve read enough to know there is a big majority.)

That’s the other thing. Facebook groups. I think the original idea behind them was great, to have a little community of people all going through the same thing. But that’s just it. We’re not going through the same thing. Yes we may all have children, but we all have very different ideas on parenting. Some mums are very attachment parenting and will go to every cry their child makes, where others are happy to use the cry it out method. Even when mums are trying to be helpful, it can actually start to feel like they are looking down at you or thinking you’re just a silly ftm who doesn’t seem to have a clue.

The reality of motherhood for me is that it’s been quite the baptism of fire. I love Aria so dearly, but I do feel like it’s been a hard slog at times, and I’ve felt like giving up. I’m now at the point where I’m thinking ‘when should be have another baby? Do we even have another baby? What’s the best age gap? Is there ever a good age gap? How will I cope if there’s two of them?! How can I be so cruel and only have one?!’ I’m hoping as my journey continues I’ll start to feel more confident in my parenting methods and entertaining Aria, but only time will tell I guess!

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